POMEROY — The Meigs archery team is making a return trip to the Ohio National Archery in the School’s national tournament next month.
They recently competed at the state level at Ohio State Fair Expo Center in Columbus.
The team is comprised of students from Meigs Intermediate and Middle schools. The Marauders competed in the 2015 National Archery in the Schools World Tournament in Nashville, where they tested their skills against children from around the country and world — including from South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Meigs Intermediate students fielded two teams for the 2015 NASP International Bow-hunting Organization 3-Dimensional Challenge. Team One came in second place out of 25 teams, with a score of 1,308. Team Two received 1,203 points and placed 17th.
This year, the team will go to Louisville, Ky., after Meigs Elementary fourth graders placed fourth and Meigs Middle School placed second overall in their respective divisions during the state competition. The Marauders currently number 84 archers: 48 elementary, 28 middle school and eight high school.
Ethan Vernon placed second in the Male 5th Grade Division, shooting a 280/300. Sixth-grader Jessica Workman placed first in the Female Middle School Division, shooting a 289/300.
In a Sentinel interview with Workman, she gave some insight into the world of competitive archery.
Now in her fourth year of competition, she said she began in third grade when her grandfather let her shoot a re-curve bow. She thought it was great to shoot the small bow, and about the same time saw signs in the school for archery sign-ups.
“So I decided to try it,” she said. “We practice two to three times a week at school for one or two hours. I practice at home every day for another hour. I just love doing it.”
She explained that each archer uses the same bow, though the poundage differs from archer to archer. The poundage can be adjusted and isn’t dependent on age, but on the archer’s ability to pull the bow and their comfort level.
Enormous practice goes into technique; a string bow helps students work on form.
“Your hands must be in the same place every time you pull back and the arm is straight,” Workman. “There is a line the archer must straddle. They cannot touch the line at any time.”
She also said that “everyone has their own stance and there isn’t really a right or wrong one. Again, it is what the individual feels comfortable with.”
Workman explained that safety is extremely important and protocol must be followed to avoid disqualification or injury. Archers use whistle commands to signal what action they are about to perform: one whistle means to lose a shot; two, retrieve the bow; and three means to get their arrows.
“You have to wait for your command to begin,” she said. “There is a safety command, when the whistle blows five or six times in a row, it means put down your bow, no questions asked.”
Equipment can be expensive for the group, with a bows costing $150 each. Arrows require frequent replacement, as repeated use causes bending and deterioration of the fletching (feathers of an arrow). The group, along with parents, friends and members of the community, hold fundraisers to help defer the costs.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551